09
Oct
1

The Uncarrier itself is shaking things up again with phase three of its plan to change the mobile industry. As rumored earlier today, T-Mobile just announced unlimited global data for no extra charge in over 100 countries. That's massive – so massive, in fact, the (un)carrier is now able to say that its data network is larger than Verizon's and AT&T's combined. Massive.

The plan goes into effect on October 31st for "most" Simple Choice customers – no activation needed. Just unlimited data, essentially wherever you are. For those curious where T-Mo is now willing to cover you, here's a look at the list:

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Update: Don't expect blazing speeds when traveling overseas. T-Mobile chief marketing officer Mike Sievert told CNET that the average speed is about 128Kbps. So, you won't be watching any YouTube videos – but it'll get the job done if you need to check email or grab a map.

This announcement comes alongside another milestone for Team Magenta: its 4G LTE network is now nationwide, covering "more than 200 million people in 233 metros across the United States." It completed this rollout months ahead of the initial schedule, according to T-Mobile chief technology officer Neville Ray. Not bad, T-Mo. For a full list of coverage areas, check out this PDF.

But that's not all. U.S. customers who wish to call overseas can now do so more affordably than ever – with T-Mobile's Stateside International Talk & Text plan, they'll never pay more than $0.20 a minute to any country in the Simple Global network. And calls to landlines in over 70 of those countries cost nothing extra at all.

Like only its CEO John Legere could, T-Mobile announced all this in style – with a concert by now-T-Mobile collaborator Shakira in Bryant Park, NYC. Looks like we're going to be seeing a lot more of her in Pink moving forward.

T-Mobile Makes the World Your Network - at No Extra Charge
and Now Delivers Nationwide 4G LTE

T-Mobile customers to enjoy unlimited data and texting worldwide - at no extra charge

Also slashes calling rates from U.S. - now never more than 20 cents per minute with Stateside International Talk & Text feature

Announces multiyear partnership with international superstar Shakira

NEW YORK - Oct. 9, 2013 - T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS), America's new No. 1 choice in wireless, is again upending and innovating the wireless industry, delivering unlimited global data at no extra charge in 100+ countries - making the company's home data coverage area larger than AT&T's and Verizon's combined.

Tonight, at a concert event for thousands of its customers at New York's Bryant Park, featuring international superstar and new T-Mobile collaborator Shakira, the Un-carrier announced that it is tearing down borders and walking away from the U.S. wireless industry practice of charging exorbitant international roaming rates.

"The cost of staying connected across borders is completely crazy," said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile US, Inc. "Today's phones are designed to work around the world, but we're forced to pay insanely inflated international connectivity fees to actually use them. You can't leave the country without coming home to bill shock. So we're making the world your network - at no extra cost."

Americans take about 55 million trips to destinations outside the U.S. every year. When U.S. customers use their phones abroad the way they normally do at home, their costs often total $1,000 a day or more. So more than 40 percent of customers turn off data roaming completely. Another 20 percent more say they would if they knew how. The toll these roaming fees take on individuals and businesses is huge. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, wireless customers face a hard choice - use their phone when they need it and pay through the nose, or cut off communications to contain costs.

"It doesn't have to be this way," Legere said. "The truth is that the industry's been charging huge fees for data roaming. But what's most surprising is that no one's called them out - until now."

T-Mobile tonight announced that it's expanding the home data coverage for most Simple Choice customers to include more than 100 countries, at no extra charge. Starting Oct. 31, these Simple Choice individual and business customers automatically get unlimited data and texting in more than 100 Simple Global countries worldwide, and they will only pay a global flat rate of 20 cents per minute for voice calls when roaming in the same countries. Eligible customers on T-Mobile's popular Simple Choice plan won't have to activate anything or pay an extra monthly fee.

And, for customers in the U.S. wanting a saner, more affordable way to stay connected with friends, family and colleagues worldwide, T-Mobile's got them covered, too. The company announced tonight its new Stateside International Talk & Text feature for discounted calling and texting from the U.S. to all Simple Global countries. Customers never pay more than 20 cents a minute to any number in any Simple Global country, including mobile to mobile. Calls to landlines in more than 70 of these countries are unlimited and included at no extra cost. Unlimited texting is also included to all countries. Stateside International Talk & Text is available to most Simple Choice customers for just $10 a month.

In network news, T-Mobile tonight also announced that its latest-generation 4G LTE network is now nationwide, reaching more than 200 million people in 233 metros across the United States.

"We've not only delivered nationwide 4G LTE months ahead of schedule," said Neville Ray, chief technology officer for T-Mobile. "Our nationwide 4G LTE is right on top of our already nationwide 4G HSPA+ network - which translates to one wicked-fast combined 4G network experience."

In recent third-party tests involving millions of results from real customers nationwide, T-Mobile's 4G LTE nationwide network delivered faster speeds than the 4G LTE networks of Verizon and Sprint. In addition, T-Mobile's 4G LTE network already has faster median speeds than AT&T's 4G LTE network in 10 of the top 20 metropolitan statistical areas. In fact, T-Mobile's new nationwide LTE network delivers 4G LTE speeds more consistently than any of the national providers.

Making global connections and bringing the world closer together is also a key value for global artist, songwriter and Grammy Award-winning music icon, Shakira. T-Mobile is working with the musical powerhouse to bring that message to people everywhere and announced the collaboration through a new multiyear partnership agreement to include the creation of unique content, fan engagement and exclusive access to her new music.

"Today is all about bringing the world closer together," Shakira said. "I'm excited to partner with T-Mobile and look forward to being able to share my music in new and innovative ways."

As part of the relationship, T-Mobile will support Shakira's upcoming single and album releases to create unique T-Mobile customer experiences. T-Mobile is breaking the traditional sponsorship mold and creating a unique partnership where the company and the artist will work together to help amplify key messages and initiatives for each other, which will also include a select number of special events for the public and exclusive fan engagement activities.

These announcements build on months of momentum since T-Mobile kicked off its Un-carrier consumer movement earlier this year. Since then, the company has enjoyed a groundswell of support from U.S. consumers signing on in record numbers, making T-Mobile America's No. 1 choice in wireless since its Un-carrier launch in late March - with more net new postpaid customers than AT&T, Verizon and Sprint combined.

No. 1 choice in wireless based on T-Mobile's net postpaid subscriber additions vs. those of the other major national carriers in Q2 2013. 4G LTE speed claims based on third-party speed testing data.

Taxes & fees are additional for services and features. Home data coverage is the area where customers receive data services included in their plan. Global data coverage with capable device; not for extended international travel. See details & included countries at http://www.T-Mobile.com.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • thisphuckinguy

    What about prepaid costumers? Does this apply to us as well?

    • mgamerz

      Doubtful. I guess a benefit of plans/contracts...

    • HA99

      I just spoke to customer service. This will only apply to post-paid (Simple Choice) plans. It's a bit weird since there's a $70/month post-paid plan (Simple Choice) that comes with exactly the same features as the $70/month pre-paid plan. Both are without contract. The difference in cost is that you'll have to pay tax on the post-paid (Simple Choice) plan. There seems little reason *not* to switch to post-paid for me, since I would take advantage of the international roaming. To be honest, I don't know why these are different plans.

      • thisphuckinguy

        Wow, thank you for looking into that. I'll just continue to swap sims as usual.

      • psychoace

        The reason is most likely due to calls costing a per minute charge which they couldn't do in a pre-paid situation really and also probably would require more work from the roaming providers to make sure you have money in your account in order to pay for those minutes.

        • Terry

          You can do cost per min on pre-paid as long as you have money in your account. I can call and text from my pre-paid while I'm in Mexico and the cost is taken out of my existing balance so I think the mechanisms are already in place.

      • jeffrey beck

        Let me outline the differences. On a post paid plan you can purchase and finance a phone and participate in Jump. A credit check is required for this plan and not for prepaid.

        Postpaid also has access to better on phone customer support with short wait times and mostly stateside call centers.

        Postpaid also gives you 50 MB of domestic data roaming and unlimited voice roaming. No roaming on prepaid.

        Post paid plans are also eligible for discounts whereas the prepaid accounts are not. Most Tmo discounts are 15 percent which more than makes up for the price difference of increased taxes.

        So, in summary, prepaid a good option if you:
        -Have no credit
        -Are a member of the witness Protection program
        -Are hiding a second line from your girlfriend
        -Have no need of a new phone or roaming
        -Are an illegal immigrant

        Everyone else should be on a post paid plan.

        • HA99

          Good explanation. Thanks!

        • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

          You neglected one very good reason for t-mobile pre-paid being a better option than post-paid for many people:
          - the $30/mo prepaid 5GB 4G unlimited data&txt is an insane value as long as you don't talk more than 100mins a month on avg.

          Only downsides to it, as you mentioned, are no roaming, and no call forwarding (for google VM). The $30/mo plan was the reason my cheap (but not poor) ass switched from AT&T ($70+/mo) in the first place this past summer.

          • jeffrey beck

            That is a great plan and a very good reason to be on prepaid. I was outlining the differences the pre and post pain plans that cost the same amount.

  • Matt

    Holy fuck. That's ridiculously good.

    • Francois Roy

      Holy fuck. T-Mobile customers are about to enjoy Unlimited Data in my country (Canada) while such a plan just DOESNT EXISTS on any major canadian carrier???

    • ins0mn1a

      that *is* ridiculously good, but the data speed is 2G. so while that's infinitely better than no data at all due to crazy prices, i'm afraid the experience will suck and there will be backlash. it would seem that i will continue with my habit of buying local sim cards wherever i go.

      honestly, i would have preferred fair pricing (e.g. buy 1GB of high speed data in such-and-such country for $10) than free service with speed (2G) and duration (6 weeks) limits.

      still, this is a giant leap forward. hats down for t-mobile.

      • jeffrey beck

        You can do that as a separate part of the plan. They have daily weekly and monthly buckets of 4g data that can be purchased whilst traveling internationally. Love the word whilst.

        • ins0mn1a

          you are correct (thanks!), i just saw that little detail on the verge. i wonder what those prices are going to be.

          i have used so many different sim cards in different countries in the last 5 years that i am getting a bit tired of the whole thing. there is really no technical reason to swap them, if only some clever provider would agree to register me on local networks and price the service fairly. this t-mobile move is far closer to that ideal than i believed realistically possible (minus the time limit, but hey, got to start somewhere!).

          • Dominic Powell

            Its $25 for $150 mb per month

  • Thomas Lovett

    If I'm on T-Mobile can I move to another country and just keep my US plan and use it overseas? Is there a cap on "unlimited roaming"?

    • Justin W

      According to the Engadget article, you must be in the US for 6 weeks during a 3 month period, and can only "travel" for 6 weeks at a time, so no you wouldn't be able to.

      • ProductFRED

        It's also throttled at 128 kbps, so I doubt you'd find it useful as an everyday data plan.

      • ins0mn1a

        also, when you live in some country most of your calls would presumably be to local phones, and if you use t-mobile those would be billed as international calls.

  • chriscarver

    Good... Now maybe we can see some more pink on those maps. Tired of seeing big red and big blue.

  • giant22000

    This is great T-Mobile! I love your service and the direction your going. Nobody can touch the service T-Mobile offers at this point, but please don't forget about expanding your native network in the good 'ole USA!

  • techpunch

    This is definitely good but it looks like only 2G speeds are supported while roaming. I found this buried in the fine print:
    "Calls over Wi-Fi are $.20/min; texts over Wi-Fi are $.20 each. Coverage not available in some areas; we are not responsible for the performance of our roaming partners’ networks. Data at up to 2G speeds. No tethering."

    • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

      I was hoping I was just seeing things....
      Oh well.....

    • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

      Huh...!!?? Calls over wifi / texts over wifi...? Why would those be charged? Those are wifi, not cell network.
      (excuse me if I'm talking silly. I have a headache right now)

      • psychoace

        It's still routed through T-Mobile servers so you have to pay.

        • ProductFRED

          Yeah but previously you didn't have to pay. And if you're on prepaid it just uses minutes normally. Now all of a sudden you have to get charged per minute.

    • Bonedatt

      WiFi calling does not incur any charge. I was in Frankfurt last summer and made calls back to the U.S for three weeks straight. As long as your phone supports it, it's free.

      • psychoace

        Some people are saying this is a change in service for T-Mobile and that they will start charging. Not 100% sure if this is true so hopefully we get an answer soon.

        • Bonedatt

          I seriously doubt they'll change current policy especially since the Wi-Fi network is not cell network. Now if I tether my T-Mobile phone to use as a hotspot then use another phone with Wi-Fi capabilities to make calls,then maybe I can see how they'll charge. But again, tethering is not allowed.

          • psychoace

            It's always been policy that wifi minutes count. Obviously with most accounts running unlimited right now it's not as noticable but with pre-paid accounts that have 100/1500 minutes they get deducted even when using wifi. Also tethering is allowed in the US, they even give you an allotment per month on most plans.

          • enoch861

            Nope! Don't know where you got that "policy" from but WiFi calls have always been unlimited. Granted sometimes you had to call to get unlimited WiFi calling added to your plan (you can also do it online) but WiFi calling has never costed me a single cent. Period.

          • psychoace
          • enoch861

            Maybe its because I'm on a classic plan? I've never been charged for a WiFi call. Ever.

          • psychoace

            I believe since you are grandfathered in you still are bonded by the same contract. Previously wifi calling didn't drain your regular minutes

          • Deez Knutz

            Well... I recommend disabling the mobile data and then use your wifi to make a call. I USE WIFI to make calls all the time when I'm in Turkey.

          • Bonedatt

            If you read through the forum's link you provided, you will see where someone was disputing the minute deduction argument also. There's no way Tmobile can bill you for using a form of connection that they are not providing. If anything, Tmobile is utilizing your WiFi connection to supplement their poor coverage in certain areas. How can they justify the charges(if there really were charges)?

          • psychoace

            Do you think that your call is just sent with magic pixie dust? All your doing is suplmenting there antenna with yours. All calls are now voip calls. So no matter if you go through the tower or your wifi connection everything is handled the same when it hits the wire. That means T-Mobile's servers are still hosting and routing your call like it was coming from the cell tower even if it was through your personal internet. You aren't making a direct call to that other persons phone.

          • Bonedatt

            Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) was what Wi-Fi calling was called back in 2008 and earlier. Back then only a handful of blackberry phones supported this feature on Tmobile's network. Luckily, I owned a blackberry curve which supported UMA aka wifi calling. I did not have an unlimited voice plan and never was I charged or were my minutes deducted when I used wifi to make calls. Now I have an HTC ONE and recently switched from a classic unlimited plan to a simple choice plan and again, have never been charged or minutes deducted (even though now I am less concerned since it's unlimited)

      • qpinto

        this is an assumption, over wifi calling, its free. BUT the .20 a minute comes in when you call a landline or mobile phone of international number. Thats when the charges would start. otherwise they are going back on the free wifi calling service ive been using for years when travelling. however calling a US number never was a charge, but calling internationally is

    • jaroos

      This is horrible. I spend a large portion of time out of the country, but need to keep my US number at all times. They also indicate that "extensive use" on foreign networks is not allowed. I might as well port my number to Google Voice :/

  • andy_o

    Lame. 233 metros is, like, 764 pies only.

  • Derrick Hodges

    Winning!

  • Someone on the internet

    Too bad it only applies to the US and not the actual countries it is involved in.

  • Ian

    I live in Australia, where there's no unlimited data plans on the market. Is there a way I could order one of these sims, possibly through a shipping forwarder, and use it for unlimited data in my tablet, where I don't care about the phone number? What if I had a friend travelling through USA in a few days? Could they pick up a sim for me?

    • thedosbox

      Doubtful, the small print @ 1:12 says it's not for "extended international travel".

    • ProductFRED

      There's a six week limit while using it abroad. The data is also throttled to 128 kbps.

  • Chris Seward

    This is HUGE for me. I travel abroad lot and always have to look/pay for wifi to call home over Google Voice+GrooveIP, no more! With the Nexus 5 coming out and slim chances of seeing it on Verizon, in combination with this, and freshly available LTE coverage in my home city (champaign-urbana, il), looks like I finally have every reason to dump Verizon! So long and good riddance.

  • Sahil Chaturvedi

    Good job TMobile!

  • http://www.parafriv.net/ Para Friv

    I live in Vietnam, where there's no unlimited data plans on the
    market. Is there a way I could order one of these sims, possibly
    through a shipping forwarder, and use it for unlimited data in my
    tablet, where I don't care about the phone number? huhuhu

  • Freak4Dell

    Okay, I'm really happy with the progress that T-Mobile made, but it's bullshit if their LTE rollout is really complete. There's still plenty of areas that don't have LTE compared to Verizon and AT&T.

    • Deon Davis

      It did not say the lte rollout is complete it says it met its end of the year goal early by meeting 200 millions pops.

      • Freak4Dell

        Yeah, it's AP's article that's a bit misleading. Other articles and even the press release don't mention anything about completion.

        "It completed this rollout months ahead of the initial schedule, according to T-Mobile chief technology officer Neville Ray."

  • http://www.parafriv.net/ Para Friv

    I'm really happy with the progress that T-Mobile made, but it's bullshit
    if their LTE rollout is really complete. There's still plenty of areas
    that don't have LTE compared to Verizon

  • Sergio

    Please, T-mobile, come to Spain...

  • h4rr4r

    YES!
    T-mobile you just got another customer. All the countries I regularly are on that list.